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Unemployment Numbers Don't Tell Whole Story

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Jon Jordan, News 9 

OKLAHOMA CITY -- New unemployment numbers show the country is on the road to recovery, but is it? According to the Labor Department December unemployment dropped from 9.8 percent in November to 9.4 percent in December, numbers the White House calls ‘encouraging.' However while some see the numbers as promising some say the numbers don't paint the whole picture.

At the south Oklahoma City Workforce location, many eager job applicants are hard at work, looking for work, one of those desperate for a paycheck is Kati Bloodworth a single mother of two.

"When I walk in somewhere and ask if they are hiring it's more like a door in your face", said Bloodworth.

Bloodworth like many Oklahomans and others across the country have spent the past several months running down every possible job opportunity in hopes of finding a job. She hopes businesses are able to recognize those who are doing everything possible to find work.

"They should give more people a chance who are coming out of the workforce agency rather than people just walking off the street," said Bloodworth.

Fortunately, Bloodworth hasn't given up hope like many others have.

"There certainly are a lot of individuals out there that we call discouraged workers, people that would like to have a job, have looked in the past, but they are not looking right now," said Gary Lynn the Director of Economic Research with the Employment Security Commission.

Based on how the unemployment numbers are gathered those 'discouraged workers' are left out of the data, making the unemployment number lower than it should be.

"It probably is a day of good news but just not as good as the headline numbers might sound," said Lynn.

Still Lynn said he is seeing too many things pointing to an economic recovery for him not to be encouraged. "Going forward I am more positive, more optimistic then I have for quite some time the economy is about to rebound."

One economist echoed Lynn's sentiment when speaking about the unemployment numbers saying, "The glass maybe half full, but at least it is half full."

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